skip navigation links
USGS - science for a changing world

Human Capital Services and Support

We Are USGS!

Combining Education and Experience For GS-03—GS-05 Clerical/Admin Support Positions
(Not Applicable for GS-312 Clerk-Steno)

GS-03

Definitions:

EXPERIENCE: Six months of work experience is six months working full-time
(at least 35-40 hours per week). Part-time experience can be pro-rated (i.e., a year
at 20 hours per week is credited as 6 months of experience). If your position
consisted of mixed duties, experience credit is given for the percentage of time that
you spent on qualifying duties (i.e., if you held a position for 2 years, full-time,
consisting of 25% personnel work and 75% budget work, and then applied for a
budget position you could calculate your experience as follows: 2 yrs = 24 months.
24 months x 75% [percentage of time spent on budget duties] = 18 months of
qualifying experience.)

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: One year of full-time academic study is 30
semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in a college or university, or at
least 20 hours of classroom instruction per week for approximately 36 weeks in a
business, secretarial, or technical school. This education must have been successfully
completed and obtained in an accredited business, secretarial, technical school,
college or university for which high school graduation or the equivalent was a
prerequisite.

To combine your education and experience, you must convert each to a percentage and then add them together, following Steps 1, 2, and 3 below.

Step 1—Education

Compute your number of semester, quarter or classroom hours with this formula:

FORMULA: YOUR NUMBER OF SEMESTER HOURS DIVIDED BY 30 SEMESTER HOURS, OR YOUR NUMBER OF QUARTER HOURS DIVIDED BY 45 QUARTER HOURS, OR YOUR NUMBER OF CLASSROOM HOURS DIVIDED BY 720 CLASSROOM HOURS.

EXAMPLES:

  • If you have completed 21 semester hours, 21 divided by 30 =. 70 (70%)
  • If you have completed 19 quarter hours, 19 divided by 45 = .422 (42%)
  • If you have completed 360 classroom hours, 360 divided by 720 = .50 (50%)

Step 2—Qualifying Experience

Determine your qualifying experience as a percentage of the experience required for this position.

FORMULA: YOUR NUMBER OF MONTHS OF PERTINENT EXPERIENCE DIVIDED BY 6.

EXAMPLES:

  • If you have 2 months of the right kind of experience, 2 divided by 6 = .333 (33%)
  • If you have 4 months of the right kind of experience, 4 divided by 6 = .666 (67%)

Step 3—Combining Education and Experience

Now, take your percentage of education and your percentage of experience and add them
together. In order to meet the requirements through a combination of education and experience, the total of the two percentages must be at least 100% or you do not qualify.

EXAMPLE #1:

  • Education totaled 12 semester hours
    (Formula: 12 divided by 30 = .40 or 40%)
  • Pertinent experience totaled 4 months.
    (Formula: 4 divided by 6 = .666 or 67%)
  • TOTAL: 40% + 67% = 107% (100 % OR MORE = QUALIFIED)

EXAMPLE #2:

  • Education totaled 24 quarter hours
    (Formula: 24 divided by 45 = .533 or 53%)
  • Pertinent experience totaled 2 months.
    (Formula: 2 divided by 6 = .333 or 33%)
  • TOTAL: 53% + 33% = 86% (LESS THAN 100% = NOT QUALIFIED)

For GS-04

Definitions:

EXPERIENCE: One year of work experience is twelve months working full-time (at least 35-40 hours per week). Part-time experience can be pro-rated (i.e., a year at 20 hours per week is credited as 6 months of experience). If your position consisted of mixed duties, experience credit is given for the percentage of time that you spent on qualifying duties (i.e., if you held a position for 2 years, full-time, consisting of 25% personnel work and 75% budget work, and then applied for a budget position you could calculate your experience as follows:. 2 yrs = 24 months. 24 months x 75% [percentage of time spent on budget duties] = 18 months of qualifying experience.)

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: One year of full-time academic study is 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in a college or university, or at least 20 hours of classroom instruction per week for approximately 36 weeks in a business, secretarial, or technical school. This education must have been successfully completed and obtained in an accredited business, secretarial, technical school, college or university for which high school graduation or the equivalent was a prerequisite.

To combine your education and experience, you must convert each to a percentage and then add them together, following Steps 1, 2, and 3 below.

Step 1—Education

Compute your number of semester, quarter or classroom hours with this formula:

FORMULA: YOUR NUMBER OF SEMESTER HOURS DIVIDED BY 60 SEMESTER HOURS, OR YOUR NUMBER OF QUARTER HOURS DIVIDED BY 90 QUARTER HOURS, OR YOUR NUMBER OF CLASSROOM HOURS DIVIDED BY 1440 CLASSROOM HOURS.

EXAMPLES:

  • If you have completed 21 semester hours, 21 divided by 60 =. 35 (35%)
  • If you have completed 45 quarter hours, 45 divided by 90 = .50 (50%)
  • If you have completed 720 classroom hours, 720 divided by 1440 = .50 (50%)

Step 2—Qualifying Experience

Determine your qualifying experience as a percentage of the experience required for this position.

FORMULA: YOUR NUMBER OF MONTHS OF PERTINENT EXPERIENCE DIVIDED BY 12.

EXAMPLES:

  • If you have 5 months of the right kind of experience, 5 divided by 12 = .416 (42%)
  • If you have 8 months of the right kind of experience, 8 divided by 12 = .666 (67%)

Step 3—Combining Education and Experience

Now, take your percentage of education and your percentage of experience and add them together. In order to meet the requirements through a combination of education and experience, the total of the two percentages must be at least 100% or you do not qualify.

EXAMPLE #1:

  • Education totaled 21 semester hours
    (Formula: 21 divided by 60 = .35 or 35%)
  • Pertinent experience totaled 8 months.
    (Formula: 8 divided by 12 = .666 or 67%)
  • TOTAL: 35% + 67% = 102% (100 % OR MORE = QUALIFIED)

EXAMPLE #2:

  • Education totaled 45 quarter hours
    (Formula: 45 divided by 90 = .50 or 50%)
  • Pertinent experience totaled 5 months.
    (Formula: 5 divided by 12 = .416 or 42%)
  • TOTAL: 50% + 42% = 92% (LESS THAN 100% = NOT QUALIFIED)

For GS-05

Definitions:

EXPERIENCE: One year of work experience is twelve months working full-time (at least 35-40 hours per week). Part-time experience can be pro-rated (i.e., a year at 20 hours per week is credited as 6 months of experience). If your position consisted of mixed duties, experience credit is given for the percentage of time that you spent on qualifying duties (i.e., if you held a position for 2 years, full-time, consisting of 25% personnel work and 75% budget work, and then applied for a budget position you could calculate your experience as follows:. 2 yrs = 24 months. 24 months x 75% [percentage of time spent on budget duties] = 18 months of qualifying experience.)

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: One year of full-time academic study is 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in a college or university, or at least 20 hours of classroom instruction per week for approximately 36 weeks in a business, secretarial, or technical school. This education must have been successfully completed and obtained in an accredited business, secretarial, technical school, college or university for which high school graduation or the equivalent was a prerequisite.

GRADUATE EDUCATION: In the absence of specific graduate program information, a year of graduate education is 18 semester hours or 27 quarter hours of graduate level college course work, or the number of credit hours the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full time study. This education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university.


To combine your undergraduate education and specialized experience, you must convert each to a percentage and then add them together, following Steps 1, 2, and 3 below.

Step 1

Undergraduate Education: Successfully completed progressive education in excess of the first 60 semester hours, 90 quarter hours, or 1,440 hours of classroom instruction (i.e., beyond the first two years) of a course of study is creditable on its relationship to 60 semester hours, 90 quarter hours, or 1440 hours of classroom instruction. One full academic year of study is 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent, in a college or university, or at least 20 hours of classroom instruction per week for approximately 36 weeks in a business, secretarial, or technical school. Compute your number of semester, quarter or classroom hours with this formula:

FORMULA: YOUR NUMBER OF UNDERGRADUATE SEMESTER HOURS (BEYOND YOUR FIRST TWO YEARS OF STUDY) DIVIDED BY 60 SEMESTER HOURS. OR YOUR NUMBER OF UNDERGRADUATE QUARTER HOURS (BEYOND YOUR FIRST TWO YEARS OF STUDY) DIVIDED BY 90 QUARTER HOURS. OR YOUR NUMBER OF CLASSROOM HOURS (BEYOND YOUR FIRST TWO YEAR OF STUDY) DIVIDED BY 1440 CLASSROOM HOURS.

EXAMPLES:

  • If you have 21 semester hours beyond the first 2 years of progressive study (81 semester hrs. total with 21semester hrs. in excess of the first 60 semester hrs.), 21 divided by 60 =. 35 (35%)
  • If you have 45 quarter hours beyond the first 2 years of progressive study (135 quarter hrs. total with 45 qtr. hrs. in excess of the first 90 qtr. hrs.), 45 divided by 90 = .50 (50%)
  • If you have 720 classroom hours beyond the first 2 years of progressive study (2,160 classroom hrs. total with 720 classroom hrs. in excess of the first 1440 classroom hrs.), 720 divided by 1440 = .50 (50%)

Step 2—Qualifying Specialized Experience

Determine your qualifying specialized experience as a percentage of the specialized experience required for this position.

FORMULA: YOUR NUMBER OF MONTHS OF PERTINENT EXPERIENCE DIVIDED BY 12.

EXAMPLES:

  • If you have 5 months of the right kind of experience, 5 divided by 12 = .416 (42%)
  • If you have 8 months of the right kind of experience, 8 divided by 12 = .666 (67%)

Step 3 -Combining Undergraduate Education and Specialized Experience

Now, take your percentage of undergraduate education and your percentage of specialized experience and add them together. In order to meet the requirements through a combination of education and experience, the total of the two percentages must be at least 100% or you do not qualify.

EXAMPLE #1:

  • Undergraduate education totaled 21 semester hours beyond the first 2 years of progressive study
    (Formula: 21 divided by 60 = .35 or 35%)
  • Pertinent experience totaled 8 months.
    (Formula: 8 divided by 12 = .666 or 67%)
  • TOTAL: 35% + 67% = 102% (100 % OR MORE = QUALIFIED)

EXAMPLE #2:

  • Undergraduate education totaled 30 semester hours beyond the first 2 years of progressive study
    (Formula: 30 divided by 60 = .50 or 50%)
  • Pertinent experience totaled 5 months.
    (Formula: 5 divided by 12 = .416 or 42%)
  • TOTAL: 50% + 42% = 92% (LESS THAN 100% = NOT QUALIFIED)


  Latest News
  Questions?

Conflict Management | Employee & Career Development | Human Resources |
Organization Development | Pay & Benefits | Performance & Conduct | Staffing & Workforce

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/sw/quals/undergrad1c.html
Page Contact Information: hcweb@usgs.gov
Page Last Modified: Friday, 02-May-2014 09:42:15 EDT